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Test Fire Alarms for “Spring Ahead”

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — This upcoming Sunday, March 10th marks the annual spring tradition of “Fall Back, Spring Ahead.” As clocks get pushed one hour forward, the Office of State Fire Marshal feels this is a good reminder to test smoke alarms before routinely changing the batteries, and is urging residents to do so.

“Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with features such as long-life batteries,” says State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. “So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery.”

Officials want Oregonians to know that some of the ionization-only smoke alarms which are solely battery powered come with a silencing feature and also a 10 year battery. For this reason, the national slogan, “Change your clock, change your battery” may not apply to certain residents. There are now other types of alarms which are being sold with long-life lithium batteries or standard-life batteries as well.

Wallace stresses, “Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire.”

“Also, be sure to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older.”

To check your alarm properly the marshal’s recommend you first push the test button to be sure the battery is working. It’s important to vacuum the outside of the alarm to clean them of dust and cobwebs as well. In addition, inspect your alarm to determine how old it is. If the battery is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced. If a new battery is installed, be sure to retest the alarm. If the alarm fails to work after replacing it with a new battery, replace the alarm itself.

Officials want Oregonians to know how critical it is to have a working smoke alarm. They give early warning to a fire and allow victims to have vital minutes that could cost them their life.

Some additional safety tips include installing smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bathroom, and outside each sleeping area. Also, ensure that hard-wired alarms, those which are wired directly into home electrical systems, have battery back-ups. Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses. Use the hush feature on your smoke alarms to silence nuisance alarms and make a put a home escape plan in place in the event that a fire should occur. More importantly, be sure to practice this plan with your entire family.